Precious Metal Clay is a clay-like substance that becomes pure precious metal after it is fired in a kiln. It contains microscopic particles of precious metal (silver, gold or platinum) suspended in an organic binder combined with a small amount water.

Precious Metal Clay was invented by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation in Japan. It has only been available in the United States for a few years and is sold by PMC Connection.

Due to its consistency, Precious Metal Clay can be formed using techniques often employed in clay work. It can be sculpted, molded, carved, stamped and more! After the piece has been prepared to your satisfaction, it is air dried and then fired in a kiln at between 1450 and 1650F for up to 2 hours (times may vary depending on the manufacturer's directions for the specific product being used). The end result is pure fine silver, gold or platinum.

Due to a 12%-33% shrinkage factor, the end result is smaller than the original was prior to firing. The actual degree of shrinkage varies with the product being used. In addition, the final product is less dense than sterling silver. Once firing has been completed, Precious Metal Clay can be worked with traditional metal techniques.

Photos by Larry Sanders